Case Studies

Contentious Probate

Reason for Instruction: The client was the spouse of the deceased, who owned several properties in the UK. The client entered a caveat on the deceased's estate as a purported will did not leave any of the deceased's estate to the client in suspicious circumstances.

Outcome: Proceedings were commenced against our client for the removal of the caveat and for the Court to pronounce in favour of the validity of the purported will of the deceased. This matter went to trial where the Court pronounced against the validity of the purported will which was found to be a forgery and ordered that the claimant in the proceedings pay the client’s costs on a partial indemnity basis. The client was then able to benefit from the deceased's estate under the rules of intestacy.

Dispute Between Leaseholder And Freeholder

Reason for Instruction: The client owned a flat in a newly constructed residential building. Noise emanating from services within the building was audible within the client’s property and the client wanted the problem fixing.

Outcome: The team issued proceedings on behalf of the client, several experts' reports were obtained and without prejudice negotiations were commenced. The team advised the client to make a Part 36 offer and several weeks before trial the matter settled with the defendants carrying out works to remove the problem and paying the client's costs of the proceedings.

Commercial Lease Renewals/ Negotiation Of Lease Terms

Reason for Instruction: The client was the freeholder of a shopping centre complex. The freeholder had granted 10-year leases for individual units within the shopping centre. Many of these leases for the units within the shopping centre had expired or were about to and the freeholder wished to renew the lease terms and to vary some terms to take into account newer buildings and services which did not exist when original leases were entered into.

Outcome: The team negotiated the heads of terms, drafted the leases and negotiated with the lessees in order that the freeholder was able to successfully enter into the new leases upon favourable terms.

Residential Repossession

Reason for Instruction: The client was the executor of a relative’s estate comprising a freehold property. A potential beneficiary of the estate was occupying the residential property with consent of the executors but refused to leave the property subsequently. The executor was under a duty to administer the estate, which in the circumstances required the sale of the residential property with vacant possession.

Outcome: The team served the relevant notices upon the occupiers and possession proceedings were commenced when the occupier did not leave the property. The matter went to a hearing at which the Judge ordered possession of the property be given to the executor on the basis of trespass.

Contested Dissolution Of Partnership

Reason for Instruction: The client was involved in a partnership restaurant business. There was no partnership agreement between the partners and therefore, the partnership was governed by the Partnership Act 1890. The client exited the business but was subsequently chased for debts relating to the partnership business. The client wanted to apply to the Court for a declaration that the partnership was at an end and to recover debts from the client's former business partner.

Outcome: The team issued proceedings against the client's former business partner on behalf of the client. The parties attempted mediation; however, the matter failed to settle and went to trial. The client successfully obtained a declaration from the Court that the partnership was dissolved and obtained judgment for over £100,000 against the former business partner.

Relief From Forfeiture

Reason for Instruction: The client leased commercial premises for business purposes. Due to renovation work blocking access to the client's premises, the client saw a downturn in trade which resulted in rent arrears. The landlord forfeited the lease and our client's aim was to get back into the property to continue trading.

Outcome: The team issued an application at Court for relief from forfeiture on the client's behalf. Through negotiation with the freeholder, an agreement was reached that the landlord would allow the client back into the property upon payment of the rent arrears. The client reentered the property and was able to commence trading again.

Lease Extension

Reason for Instruction: The client was a leaseholder of a residential flat in London. The client had a 99-year lease of which 1/3 of the term had already expired. The client was advised that the term of the lease should be extended, otherwise, the property would be more difficult to sell as potential buyers would struggle to obtain a mortgage where the unexpired term of the lease was less than 2/3 of the original term.

Outcome: After informal negotiations with the freeholder, the parties were unable to agree upon the terms or the amount of the premium payable for the lease extension. The team were instructed to serve a statutory notice upon the freeholder and an application was made to the Property Tribunal for a determination of the premium and the remaining terms of the extension. The team negotiated a settlement with the freeholder whereby the client paid

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